August 2002 - big trip - diary - venezuela - august 2002


Angel Falls

View from the river

Click for the falls in all their glory

Friday 2 - Saturday 3 August

By mid morning we arrived at the closest river point to the falls and caught our first glimpse through the trees of the impressive sight. At the start of the jungle trail our guide stuck a twig into an old tree stump, extracting two large '24 hour' ants, so called as their bite causes a one day fever. It's an hours hike to the base of the cliff face at the slow pace of our group, but keen to get some more training in for Roraima, we pushed ahead faster. Passing another large group of tourists we arrived at the viewpoint only to be disappointed, the top was obscured by cloud.

Soon after our guide turned up with the others and we settled down to wait. 20 minutes later it was time to leave, although the clouds seemed to be thinning. We decided to hang back a bit longer as the others hit the return trail and were rewarded a few minutes later as the cloud broke just enough to get a couple of decent shots of the highest falls in the world, 979 metres of white water, fantastic.

Tanin stained waters

Our guide takes a nap

Ponchos essential

Lunch, Pemon style

Sapo Falls

Aye eye

Back at the boat lunch was prepared, chicken roasted over an open fire, which was well tasty. As B chatted a fly landed on his portion, depositing a mound of tiny maggots which disappeared into the meat with alarming speed while everyone watched. 30 seconds afterwards and you couldn't tell they were in there at all, apart from the odd crunch.

The return journey downstream was faster and wetter, the odd wave sloshed over the side as we were pounded by a tropical storm. We made it back to Canaima in time to visit Sapo falls which have a stone walkway cut behind them, so we donned swim shorts and had a quick wash although we didn't see any of the poisonous frogs that give the cascade its name because it had stopped raining - they only come out in the rain.

T gets it sideways

Awesome views... all directions

That evening we enjoyed more luxury in the hotel and some interesting stories from our friendly pilot before catching the plane the next morning, making it back in one piece despite being briefly allowed behind the controls.


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